Saturday, May 11, 2013

Asia Society India Centre’s  Gala Dinner
with filmmaker Mira Nair
 … on the eve of the India release of
The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Mumbai, Friday, May 10th, 2013   – A gracious and interesting evening was organised by the Asia Society around Mira Nair and her latest film, The Reluctant Fundamentalist. The highly anticipated film releases in India on May 17.  The dinner was generously hosted by Pheroza and Jamshyd Godrej and supported by Multiples Alternate Asset Management.

The evening centred around Mira Nair in conversation with journalist and  author Sidharth Bhatia, and towards the end was also addressed by cast members Imaad Shah and scholar Mahmood Mamdani. Mira Nair talked  with her usual ready enthusiasm, candour and humour on the difficulties she had with raising money for the film – making it clear that this was an independent film that did not have the backing of major studios. She said she was happy that the film has been well received at the festivals in which it has shown and also that the issue of censorship has not affected its release – whether in India and then a week later in Pakistan.  This is a welcome sign considering the subject of the film is one that analyses the meaning of identity and patriotism when viewed against the complexities of how terrorism is viewed by different nations and different individuals.  While the film is based on the bestselling novel by Mohsin Hamid, Mira explained that she had made some changes from the original which was in keeping with her cinematic perceptions that she felt were needed.  The racy and pitched soundtrack of the film is now available on CD.

There is another timely offering that coincides with the release of The Reluctant Fundamentalist. And this is the launch of the book, The Reluctant Fundamentalist – From Book to Film, which Mira Nair has written herself.  Mira Nair offers the reader an exclusive behind-the-scenes look into the creation of her most ambitious film yet. Covering every aspect of the film-making process, this magnificently designed film book comprises an incredible array of images as well as short essays by those involved in the film-making process. Mira Nair discusses how the novel was turned into a screenplay; Mohsin Hamid reminisces about his first experience on a film set; production designer Michael Carlin recounts the thrill of transforming Old Delhi into contemporary Lahore; lead actor Riz Ahmed reveals how he got under the skin of his character Changez; and editor Shimit Amin demystifies some of his tricks on the editing table. This book also features a series of gorgeous black-and-white photographs by celebrated photographer Brigitte Lacombe. 
The book is a Penguin Books India publication.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Petrina D’Rozario, 
President of WIFT

Women in Film & Television- India  (WIFT)
honour the women National Award winners

May 9th evening -Taj Lands End, Mumbai  was agog with film professionals paying their respects to the 19-strong band of women National Award winners of this year. The winners were brought in from all corners of India, the North East, deep South and also from major cities such as Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai. Five among them could not make it for personal reasons.

Dolly Ahluwalia
The  packed gathering included leading names from film and media with many of them registering staunch male support.  It is the men who mainly gave away the awards, notable among them being Imran Khan, Prosenjit Chatterjee, Jackie Shroff, Kabir Bedi, Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane,  designer Manish Malhotra and also the Director General of Films Division, V S Kundu, Among the women felicitating the awardees was Kangana Ranaut, Shobhaa De, Zoya Akhtar and Aruna Raje (who was this year's President of the National Awards Jury for Non-Feature Films).
Petrina D’Rozario, President of WIFT, welcomed the audience and then Kiran Rao, Board member of WIFT, took over introducing the guests of honour and most of all, the talented National Award winners.

Poornima Ramaswamy

Here is the list of this year’s women National Award winners  …
1. Usha Jadhav (Marathi, Best Actress, Dhag)
2. Anupama Patil (Hindi, Producer, Delhi Safari, Best Animation Film)
3. Dolly Ahluwalia (Hindi, Best Supporting Actress, Vicky Donor)
4. Namrata Rao (Hindi, Best Editing, Kahaani)
5. Poornima Ramaswamy (Tamil, Best Costume, Paradesi)

6. Tannishtha Chatterjee (Hindi, Special Mention, Dekh Indian Circus)
7. Rintu Thomas (English, Best Environmental Film, Timbaktu)
Tannishtha Chatterjee
8. Moni Bordoloi (Assamese, Best Narration Voice over for the film
Suranjana Deepali)
9. Priya Goswami ( English, Special Mention, Pinch of Skin)
10. Anjali Menon (Malayalam. Best dialogues, Ustaad Hotel)
11. Manju Borah (Mising, Best Mising Film, KO YAD)
12. Lipika Singh (Odia ,Best debut film, Eka Gachha Eka Manisa)
13. Kalpana (Malyalam, Best Supporting actress, Thanichalla Njan)

Usha Jadhav with Anurag Kashyap

The winners who could not attend were:
14.  Aarti Anklekar (Marathi, Best Playback Singer, Samhita)
15. Shai / Shumona Goel (English, Special Jury Award, I am Micro
16. Irene Dhar Malik (English, Best Editing, Celluloid Man)
17. Gauri Patwardhan (Marathi, Best Arts Cultural Film
Modikhanycha Don Goshti)
18. Vasudha Joshi (English, Special Jury award, Cancer Katha)
19. Parineeti Chopra (Hindi, Special Mention, Ishqzaade)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Film India Worldwide – Cannes Special issue is now ready!
To subscribe or order a copy -  email Uma da Cunha

The 66th Festival de Cannes tips its hat to the 100th year of cinema in India. There is Indian representation in four Festival sections. Its leading lights demonstrate the synergies that are fuelling India’s nouvelle vague

Anurag Kashyap features in five of the officially selected films.  DAR Motion Pictures is the producer of three of them:  Ugly, The Lunch Box,  and co-producers on Monsoon Shootout. Viacom 18 Motion Pictures is behind Bombay Talkies, the tour de force film made for Cannes this year. There is Guneet Monga  who is also the business partner of Anurag Kashyap  at AKFPL and Sikhya Entertainment (Guneet’s own company). Guneet is the bonding factor, watching over money-spend, film structuring and selling strategies. The National Film Development Corporation is a strong ally. Its masterly moves to forge ties and standards on content and co-production are evident in the films coming up today.

Cannes’ Short Film Corner has close to 45 films that connect with India. The festival’s Producers Network  mentors  promising Indian film  professionals to focus their sights on the world scene. Amitabh Bachchan towers this year from the opening American film to being a part of a smaller but significant Indian one. Two of  India’s most unusual and far-sighted actors serve on separate juries.  And Satyajit Ray’s chiseled gem of a film,  Charulata – The Lonely Wife, screens in restored glory at Cannes Classics.  

Cannes has indeed made this its India year.

The pages of this Special Cannes issue of  Film India Worldwide encapsulates India in Cannes.  It goes on to give you glimpses of  new, compelling films emerging from the country’s  different genres - films that may interest festivals, to regional language films and also films made internationally with India as its theme, and films from the sub-continent.  

Film India Worldwide website will bring you teaser updates from this issue. Happy reading!

Film India Worldwide Cannes Special issue covers the following: 
  • The films from India officially selected in Cannes
  • Vidya Balan on the International Jury
  •  Nandita Das on the Cin√©fondation Jury
  •  India in Cannes Market:  a listing of all the companies and film professionals from India at Cannes this year
  • India at Cannes’ Producers Network and Workshop – the Indian film professionals attending
  • A listing of the close to 45 films that connect with India that have been selected for Cannes’ Short Film Corner
  •  Article on Dimitra Karya, Artistic Director of  Cin√©fondation
  • Besides the  Cannes Festival coverage, this issue also covers the latest news and trends in India cinema, including an article by author/film critic Saibal Chatterjee.

Monday, May 6, 2013

New York Indian Film Festival, 2013 award winners

Congratulations, Hansal Mehta!

Still from the film 'Shahid'
Winner of the Best Director Award for his feature film, Shahid, 
at New York Indian Film Festival 2013

Hansal Mehta won the Best Director award for Shahid at the 13th New York Indian Film Festival which concluded on Saturday. Shahid is based on the life of slain human rights activist and lawyer Shahid Azmi.

Anumati by Gajendra Ahire was declared the Best Film.

Vikram Gokhale  won the Best Actor award for Anumati. The Marathi film revolves around a retired teacher’s attempt to save his dying wife.

Deepti Naval was declared the Best Actress for Listen Amaya 

Suraj Negi won the Best Child Actor for Hansa.

Dr. Biju won the Best Screenplay for Color of Sky.

The Only Real Game by Mirra Bank was declared the Best Documentary

Khaana by Cary Sawhney won the Best Short film.

Entries for 3rd Pune Short Film Festival 2013 are now open!

Short Films, Documentaries, Experimental, Live action and Animation films
from students and professionals across the globe are eligible.

If you are interested in sending your short film(s) for the competition, 
please log on to for the Entry Form and other details

The 3rd PSFF is also inviting Short Film Producers, Distributors, Financiers,
Festival Curators, Sales Agents, Buyers to Register for the SHORT FILM BAZAAR Section.

1st PSFF - Received Films - 182, Selected Films - 27
2nd PSFF - Received Films - 342 ( From 15 Countries) , Selected Films - 53

Maximum 20 Minutes
Festival schedule – 1st or 2nd week of October 2013
Awards – Cash Prize, Medal, Trophy, Certificate

Best Film
Second Best Film
Best Editing 
Best Director
Second Best Director
Best Music Composition 
Best Screenplay  Best Camera Work
Best Sound
Best Creative concept

Pune Short Film Festival (PSFF)
10/24E Paschima Nagari, near City Pride theater
Kothrud Pune – 411052, Maharashtra, India
Ph +91-9890850903